10/06/05 — Rams clinch 12th EPC crown

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Rams clinch 12th EPC crown

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on October 6, 2005 2:01 PM

TARBORO -- Greene Central claimed a crucial pair of three-set singles matches and clinched its 12th consecutive Eastern Plains 2-A Conference title with a 6-1 decision over Tarboro on Tuesday afternoon.

The Rams (19-1, 9-0) picked up its 125th consecutive league victory since 1993. They earned the league's No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs, which begin Oct. 18.

"This was an outstanding high school tennis match, the best match I've seen between two Eastern Plains Conference teams in my 18 years at Greene Central," said veteran coach Donald Clark. "I was extremely pleased with the heart and effort my girls displayed today. We had to play well today to beat a truly outstanding Tarboro team."

Tiebreakers factored into four matches.

Top-seeded Meredith Rouse outlasted Mara Leigh Evans 7-6 (4), 6-4 en route to her 17th win of the season in 20 outings.

Teammates Christi Murphy and Michelle Jernigan each turned back their respective opponents after falling in the second set. Murphy toppled Alison Thompson 6-1, 3-6, 6-0. Jernigan dumped Katie Hayes 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3.

"Michelle played very well during the key points in her match today," said Clark. "She was worn out in the third set, but she kept finding a way to get the ball back. She displayed the type of heart and determination that I love to see from my players.

"I was particularly pleased with the way Christi controlled her emotions and moved the ball in the third set.

Brittany Horton and Elizabeth Cooper each prevailed in straight sets for the Rams, who lead the all-time series 17-0 against Tarboro. Horton lost just one game, while Cooper collected her team-leading 19th singles victory of the season.

Rouse-Horton stopped Evans-Minta Dupree 8-3 in the lone contested doubles match. The Nos. 2 and 3 doubles began play, but did not finish due to rain.

Greene Central concludes regular-season play Thursday at Farmville Central. Tarboro High (13-4, 7-2 EPC) returns to Snow Hill on Thursday for a match against North Lenoir.

Greene Central 6

Tarboro High 1

Singles -- No. 1 Meredith Rouse (GC) d. Mara Leigh Evans 7-6 (4), 6-4; No. 2 Christi Murphy (GC) d. Alison Thompson 6-1, 3-6, 6-0; No. 3 Jasmine Burroughs (T) d. Ashley Harrell 6-4, 2-6, 6-4; No. 4 Michelle Jernigan (GC) d. Katie Hayes 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3; No. 5 Brittany Horton (GC) d. Genelle Wilson 6-0, 6-1; No. 6 Elizabeth Cooper (GC) d. Miranda Spain 6-3, 6-1.

Doubles -- No. 1 Rouse-Horton (GC) d. Evans-Minta Dupree 8-3.

Note: Nos. 2 and 3 doubles not completed due to rain.